Goals and Objectives of Village Progress
The ultimate goal of Village Progress is to motivate the villages themselves to recognize problems and address them in ways that work within their own skills and interests. Having initially increased accessibility to the villages and then employed successful small-scale solutions to rural problems, Village Progress will work with existing development projects in Yunnan and entice new ones to come. Disciplines of focus would include sustainable agriculture development, natural resource preservation, health care improvement and empowerment through education.
- Most of the families of Salvador’s workers come from villages with little to no income. Their farms are slowly going fallow as the market for their crops has not seen the growth that urban industry has. The outcome is that many see village life as a dead end, resulting in many youths migrating to cities. Village Progress hopes to follow the models of successful agricultural development projects in the area. The Yunnan Centre for the Advancement of Rural-Urban Sustainability (CARUS) has spent the past 3 years working with impoverished farming villages in northeast Yunnan. CARUS has been very successful promoting sustainable agriculture and creating a market in the cities for organic rice and eggs. Agricultural Development - Clean drinking water is becoming more scarce in rural parts of Yunnan as hydroelectric production grows at an alarming rate and villages lack access to clean water. The Nature Conservancy in particular has had great success improving access to water in Yunnan’s rural areas while at the same time preserving natural habitats. Working with Yunnan-based organizations, Village Progress will work to provide villages with clean water and promote environmental conservation in the area. Resource Preservation - Most villages lack even the simplest forms of health care, the nearest hospitals being in excess of three hours away. In addition, with the urban economic boom, rural parts of China have seen most of the good doctors follow the market to the cities. The farmers are left with ill-experienced or corrupt doctors who often cheat or mistreat patients that lack the money needed to pay for care. Through village resource centers, Village Progress will work to set up basic treatment centers for visiting clinical and social physicians. Health Care - By investing in the social and economic stability of the villages, Village Progress will work to encourage education and encourage an environment where parents can afford to send their children to school. Village Progress will also work to give those who still wish to migrate to the city the proper tools necessary for making the transition. With outside funding, Village Progress aims to build education centers in villages that need them the most. These education centers can serve as gathering places for village meetings, temporary treatment centers for visiting physicians and social workers and can serve as a center for vocational training. Empowerment through Education Rural women are often pressured into marriage at a young age and are denied access to pursue their own goals and aspirations. Village Progress will encourage village communities to offer young women the tools necessary to pursue prosperous futures while at the same time educating the families involved. Few parents understand that young women have a much better chance of succeeding in China’s urban environment than men do. Village Progress will also apply many of the techniques used at Salvador’s Coffee House to work with young women.